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Poverty and Hardship

February 9, 2008
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15.4 million Americans live in extreme poverty.  In other words, their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or less than about $10,000 a year for a family of four.
Food:  Some 12.6 million households, containing 35.5 million people, lacked access to adequate food at some point during the year because they didn’t have enough money for groceries.
Shelter: 16 million low-income households either paid more for rent and utilities than the federal government says is affordable or lived in overcrowded or substandard housing. 
Nearly 9 million children are uninsured, and the number of uninsured children has risen for two straight years.
Assistance Programs Reduce Poverty and Hardship, But Serious Gaps Remain
Many households do not qualify.
Some people are eligible for programs but do not participate.
Some programs provide inadequate benefits.
Programs that can improve employment and earnings receive inadequate funding.
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